The summer season has only just begun and already two of California’s largest reservoirs are at critically low levels — Lake Oroville is at 47% capacity and Shasta Lake at 39% capacity. With more than 95% of the state in “severe drought” or greater, there is not enough water to meet the needs of California’s homes, businesses, farms and wildlife.
On June 10, a water conservation emergency regulation went into effect that prohibits owners and managers of commercial, industrial, and institutional properties from using potable water for irrigating non-functional turf. A fact sheet on this regulation is available from the California Water Resources Control Board website here.
In addition to this measure, the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) are urging residents and businesses to prepare for record hot weather and water supply shortages by learning how they can help to conserve the state’s limited water supplies.
“Drought is one of many concerns that are top of mind for Californians today,” Governor Newsom said in a statement earlier this month. “Reducing water use should not be on the back of any one sector. It’s a shared responsibility — we all must take immediate action to reduce water demands while we make lasting changes and investments to improve water-use efficiency and water resilience for the long term.”
Water Conservation Tips
Easy, actionable steps businesses and Californians can take today to help reduce water use include:
- Prioritize watering your trees when faced with watering restrictions: Remember, trees are an investment. It will take more water, time and money to replace a mature tree lost to drought than to keep one alive.
- Replace grass with drought-resistant landscaping or turf: Water-wise plants and landscaping use little or no water once established.
- Install automatic shut off valves for your outdoor sprinkler systems: Installing a drip irrigation system and a smart controller can save 15 gallons each time you water.
- Plant water-wise plants: Check with your local water agency on the best plants for your climate. It is best to use water-wise, California-native plants where possible.
- Lay mulch around your plants and yard: Laying 2–4 inches of organic mulch around your yard can keep the soil moist and reduce water use.
- Turn off your sprinklers and other irrigation systems when rain is in the weather forecast.
Learn more about how to help conserve water at saveourwater.com.